07 August 2008

Shocking News!

This is not an April Fools' joke, it is true!

Yesterday, we placed a phone call to the editor of the Ordo which is published for the Archdioceses of Washington and Baltimore and the diocese of Wilmington. It seemed that they made a mistake about the date of St. Jane de Chantal's commemoration (an optional memorial for the Church and a Solemnity for us) which is listed as 12 August in this year's edition of the Ordo. When our faithful librarian inquired about the matter, she was told that it is a very confusing situation and that the editor would send along an explanation via email. Thinking, of course, that already-confusing changes made to this feast might have caused the publishing company to make a very understandable mistake, we waited patiently for the email which (we imagined) might offer an apology for the mix-up and the misprint. For surely any change to the feast of our Foundress would have come to the attention of our monasteries before it was put into effect ... or, at least, shortly thereafter!

Alas, the email arrived -- a gracious and informative one, at that -- and, to our surprise, we learned that the Solemnity of our Holy Mother, St. Jane de Chantal, has, in fact, been moved to 12 August. Not only has it been moved, but it was moved -- it seems -- almost 6 years ago and this is the first time we have heard the news. Pass the whipped cream, this humble pie needs a little topping!

It seems that when the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe became more popular in Europe (as it did many years sooner in the Americas), the universal church moved the date to 12 August for the whole Church in the 2002 publication of the "Roman Missal" -- still not available in English. After the 2002 change was made, the USCCB wisely decided not to move this traveling feast of St. Jane de Chantal immediately (especially when our current liturgical books do not reflect this change.) In 2007, however, the USCCB decided to bring the Liturgical Calendar for the United States into closer conformity with the General Roman Calendar, hence the change.

Many thanks to the good folks at Paulist Press for their time and (shocking!) information. :)

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